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Divided by the Past

June 20, 2011


The 4th volume of the Václav Havel Library Edition – Divided by the Past – was published today. This collective monograph of five renowned historians reflects the crystallisation of the political and cultural climate of the Czech society after 1989.

Those of us who wrote this book were taken by surprise. We were investigating the formation of Czech political culture and political-cultural identities after 1989 only to find out that post-November politics are not divided by different ideologies but that they are actually “divided by the past.” The theme of this publication is also the multilayered role played by the reflection of the past (not only the Communist past) in Czech politics. Seeking and forming of political traditions, and thus also images of the past, were not arbitrary or accidental. Sometimes they were deeply rooted in the previous development of the respective political group, at other times in relations originating in an office or a prison, and yet other times it was the result of the pragmatism of political fight. The past created firm bonds – and all significant participants in contemporary Czech politics built their identity through them.


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